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August 12, 2014

22:57  Muslim bloc condemns Israel's 'war crimes' in Gaza:  The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation today condemned "war crimes" by Israel in Gaza and urged a meeting of donors on financing reconstruction in the enclave devastated by a month-long war. 

In a statement after a ministerial meeting, the second on Gaza in three days, the OIC said that "in the liveliest terms" the meeting condemned Israel, "the occupying force, for war crimes it doesn't stop committing in the Palestinian territories."
22:57  Putin vows to boost arms sales to Egypt's Sisi:  Russian President Vladimir Putin today promised Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to speed up the delivery of billions of dollars in arms and invited Cairo to forge free trade ties with a Moscow-led customs bloc. 

The two strong-willed leaders have developed a warm working relationship since Putin gave his backing to Sisi's presidential run during the Egyptian's visit to Moscow in February.
21:26  Pilot killed after chopper carrying aid to stranded Iraqis crashes:  An Iraqi MI-17 helicopter crashed while providing humanitarian aid to people on Iraq's Mount Sinjar. The chopper's pilot died and other passengers, including a New York Times journalist, were injured. The military cited "a technical failure" as the cause.
20:53  Specialist from Mumbai flown in to review Jaswant's condition :  Condition of former BJP leader Jaswant Singh, who suffered head injuries, continues to be grave with a critical care specialist from Mumbai being flown in to examine him. The 76-year-old, who is in coma, was admitted to the Army Research and Referral Hospital here on Friday after he had fallen down. The former Defence Minister continues to be on life support system. "He is still in coma and on ventilatory support. His vitals are stable and condition continues to be grave. Eminent critical care specialist from Mumbai, Dr Udwadia reviewed Jaswant Singh's condition this evening," Defence Ministry spokesperson, Sitanshu Kar said.  
20:35  President asks MPs to behave:  On a day where Parliament was once again shamed after Trinamool Congress and Telugu Desam Party members fought over room number 5 in Parliament, President Pranab Mukherjee has issued a statement asking MPs to behave themselves. "It is the responsibility of parliamentary members to uphold the dignity of the institution," he said to MPs. 
20:31  Robin Williams's last entry on Instagram:  This is believed to be the last photos Robin Williams shared via Instagram with the caption: #tbt and Happy Birthday to Ms. Zelda Rae Williams! Quarter of a century old today but always my baby girl. Happy Birthday@zeldawilliams Love you!
19:53  Woman flings slipper at Ajit Pawar, misses:  A woman hurled a slipper at Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar in Chamorshi village in Maharashtra today, but missed. The woman raised pro-Vidarbha slogans and hurled her slipper at Pawar. However, she was far away from the dais and missed the target, as the slipper landed in the crowd. Security personnel immediately detained her even as she continued to shout slogans in support of a separate state of Vidarbha.
19:32  Was Robin Williams having money troubles before his death?:  As the world mourns the loss of Robin Williams, reports about his financial troubles are also emerging. According to a friend who spoke to Radar Online, the comedy icon was facing struggles with money and addiction. "All he could talk about ere serious money troubles," the friend was quoted as saying. "There were clearly other issues going on and Robin sounded distant during the telephone conversation." 
Williams opened up about his money problems in a magazine interview last year with Parade in which he mentioned how hard it was to deal with divorce. "Divorce is expensive," Williams said. "It's ripping your heart through your wallet."
19:25  On Independence Day, Delhi Metro likely to provide free rides:  To mark Independence Day, the Delhi Metro may provide free rides to commuters. In addition to that, the Delhi Transport Corporation will be providing free bus rides to all commuters between 6 am and 10 am. Officials added that the frequency of DTC buses will be increased around Red Fort in order to make commuting easier for those coming to witness the Independence Day function.
18:49  Cop accused of raping Mumbai model gets bail :  Senior IPS officer Sunil Paraskar, who has been accused of rape by a city-based model was granted anticipatory bail today by a Mumbai sessions court.

The 25-year-old model had lodged a complaint against Paraskar on July 23 accusing him of raping and molesting her between November 2013 and March 2014 when he was posted as the Additional Commissioner of Police (North Region) with the Mumbai police.

Following a complaint by the model, Paraskar was booked under IPC sections 376(2)(rape by a police officer), 376 C (intercourse by superintendent of jail, remand home, etc) and 354 (D) (stalking). The 57-year-old DIG (Protection of Civil Rights Units) is at present posted at the Maharashtra Police Headquarters.

Also read: Victim's conduct belies her allegations: Paraskar's lawyer
18:32  CBI to file chargesheet in Aircel-Maxis deal involving Maran:  The CBI today told the Supreme Court that the chargesheet in the controversial Aircel-Maxis deal involving former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran will be filed shortly as the Attorney General disagreed with the views of its Director Ranjit Sinha to drop the prosecution.
18:13  Rebel JD-U MPs in a hurry to quit party after RJD tie up:  A day after RJD chief Lalu Prasad and JD-U leader Nitish Kumar came together in Hajipur, Bihar, nearly half a dozen rebel legislators of Bihar's ruling JD-U, are set to join the BJP.

"We have made up our mind to join the BJP," says Poonam Devi, a rebel JD-U legislator.  She said that rebel legislators like her had formal talks with state BJP leaders. She claimed that 25 rebel JD-U MLAs would be joining the BJP.

Another rebel JD-U legislator Ravinder Rai said they have no option but to join the BJP.

"We had expressed resentment over the functioning of the party repeatedly and now the party has joined hands with RJD, we will have to join BJP," said  Rai.

Nearly two months ago, JD-U chief whip Shravan Kumar had petitioned the Speaker of the state assembly seeking the termination of their membership on charges of anti-party activities.

Yesterday, though, the mood was more upbeat. Two heavyweights in caste-ridden Bihar -- Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad and senior Janata Dal-United leader Nitish Kumar formally joined hands. Bitter rivals for over 20 years, they shared the dais and hugged each other at a public meeting ahead of the by-election in 10 assembly constituencies with a common goal -- to defeat the kamandal politics of the Bharatiya Janata Party. -- MI Khan in Patna
17:40  TDP, TMC MPs battle it out in Parliament over a room :  MPs belonging to Telugu Desam Party and Trinamool Congress broke into an argument in Parliament today after the TDP MPs refused to vacate a room allotted to the Mamata Banerjee-led party, reports India Today.

Sources in Parliament said the TMC MPs removed the TDP sign outside Room Number 5. The spat began as the TDP MPs tried to put up their signboard again and refused to vacate.

The office, currently in TDP's possession, was allotted to the Trinamool Congress after its thumping victory in the last Lok Sabha elections.

"This is uncultured behaviour of TMC," TDP MP YS Chowdary said. The party said its leaders were bullied by the numerically-superior TMC MPs. TDP has reported the matter to Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu and will raise it with the Lok Sabha Speaker.

"The Speaker's office directed us to take the room. We have 46 MPs but we don't have a place to sit. TDP has been allotted a room on the third floor," TMC MP Sudip Bandopadhyay said.
17:31  Patients' families pay tribute to Robin Williams:  And tributes continue for Robin Williams.

One of Robin Williams' most notable film roles was Patch Adams, where he played a medical student who helped his patients by making them laugh with his zany antics.

However, the actor, like the character he portrayed, also had a heart-warming dedication to helping patients after the cameras stopped rolling.Family members of those he comforted have paid tribute to the 63-year-old, who was found dead in his San Francisco mansion at around noon yesterday.

17:22  NO Khel Ratna Award for 2014:   The Khel Ratna award will not be conferred on any sportsperson for 2014. The selection committe does not recommend any sportsperson for the award, say TV reports. Vikas Gowda, Krishna Poonia and Somdev Devburman's names had been recommended. Last year, shooter Ranjan Sodhi (pictured) won the award.

The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna is India's highest honour given for achievement in sports.
17:07  Govt dismisses Sonia's comments on increase in communal riots :  The BJP government on Tuesday dismissed Sonia Gandhi's attack on it over the "rise" in communal riots since it assumed power, saying it was not necessary to comment on her "off the cuff' remarks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already made his stand clear.

Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh told reporters that he did not think "we should attach much importance to what somebody was saying' as we live in "evidence-based era of arguments'.
16:48  Tamil Nadu assembly passes bill to end restriction on dhoti:   The Tamil Nadu assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed a bill making enforcing dress code and banning entry of persons wearing 'dhoti' in public places a cognisable offence punishable with jail term.

The House adopted the Tamil Nadu Entry into Public Places (Removal of Restriction on Dress) Act 2014 after chief minister J Jayalalithaa moved it for consideration and passing.

It empowers the state to cancel the licences of such clubs, recreation associations, trusts and company or society denying entry to any person wearing a 'vesthi' (dhoti), traditional attire of men in the state.

The legislation, enacted against the backdrop of denial of entry to a Madras high court judge and two advocates recently by a prominent cricket club here, also seeks to declare any regulation or by-law made by any organization imposing a dress code as "null and void".

The violators of the act will attract penal action, including cancellation of licence after notice, besides punishment with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year and with a fine upto Rs 25,000.

No dress code restrictions can be imposed for entry into public places like recreation clubs, hotels, theatres, malls, halls, auditoriums, stadiums and such other places as may be notified by the government, where people including members congregate in connection with any function, event, entertainment, sports or other activity.

The imposition of restriction on persons for entry into public places on the ground that their dress does not conform to western culture would amount to continuation of the Colonial imperialistic attitude, one of the provisio of the bill stated.

At the height of the controversy over denial of entry to the Judge last month, Jayalalithaa had asserted that a bill banning such dress code would be introduced and passed in the current budget session of the assembly itself.
16:21  Delhi HC orders framing of murder charge against 'India's Most Wanted' Suhaib Ilyasi :  The Delhi High Court on Tuesday ordered framing of murder charges against TV serial producer Suhaib Ilyasi, accused in the dowry-death of his wife in 2000.

Justice Indermeet Kaur asked the trial court to add the graver charge of murder under Section 302 of IPC against Ilyasi for his wife Anju's death.

The high court's decision came on a plea filed by Rukma Singh, mother of Anju, challenging the 2011 order of a trial court which had rejected her plea for trying Ilyasi under the penal provision of murder. Singh had said her son-in-law (Suhaib) was facing the charge of killing his wife for dowry under Section 304 of IPC, which attracts much lesser punishment.

Singh relied upon the statement of Dr LC Gupta, who had conducted the post-mortem examination and contradicted his earlier findings after more than one-and-half years saying homicide could not be ruled out.

Gupta had earlier stated in his report to the police that Anju's injuries were self-inflicted and suicidal in nature.

Earlier, the trial court had rejected Singh's plea to invoke additional murder charge against her son-in-law Ilyasi, saying no fresh evidence had emerged against him. Ilyasi had shot into the limelight after hosting the reality TV show 'India's Most Wanted'.
16:11  Haryana govt awards empty envelopes to 2014 CWG para-athletes:  Indian para-athletes Prashant Karmakar and Jaideep Singh were in for a rude shock on Friday in Sonepat, Haryana.

At a felicitation ceremony for sportspersons who won medals at the recent Commonwealth Games and Para Games in Glasgow, Karmakar and Sigh were handed empty envelopes by Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

The government has admitted its lapse, calling it a clerical mistake. Even though neither para-athlete won a medal at the Games, the state government awarded them Rs 5 lakh each for participating in Glasgow.

The oversight was only noticed after the para-athletes opened their envelopes and noticed their was no cheque inside. However, the Haryana sports department has assured that their cheques will be sent to them in 10 days time. -- NDTV
16:01  And here's more on that mystery Meerut 'rape, abduction, conversion' story.

Here's the backgrounder, which should leave you even more confused.  Read
15:49  Meerut 'rape, conversion' victim says she eloped with accused:  A case of alleged abduction, rape and conversion of a 28-year-old woman last month, has been closed by the police after the victim claimed that she had gone with the accused willfully.

The Investigating Officer (IO) in the case Samerjit Singh Kaur filed a report under section 169 CRPC (release of accused when evidence deficient) on Monday, on the basis of the victim's statement recorded in court, saying that there is no evidence against the accused.

Earlier, the victim in her statement said that she had eloped and was not abducted by the accused.

She had eloped with her boyfriend Mukeem Ahmad belonging to a different community at Thana Bhawan town in Shamli district on July 9.

The victim's father had lodged an FIR against her boyfriend Mukeem and three of his family members, alleging that his daughter was abducted from Thana Bhawan town.

Tension had gripped in Thana Bhawan area following the incident and several protests were held.Meanwhile, the couple had sought police protection from the High Court. The court directed police to record her statement under section 164 CRPC (recording of confessions and statement).

Upon the direction of High Court, the woman was produced in court and she recorded her statement, saying that she is a major and had eloped.
15:46  BSP, NCP and CPI may lose national party status:  The election commission has asked two political parties --- Bahujan Samaj Party, Nationalist Congress Party and the Communist Party of India --- where its national status should not be revoked. The poll watchdog notice to these political parties is result of their dismal performance in the Lok Sabha which meant they failed to fulfill the criteria for retaining the status. Read more
15:44  Clooney's fiancee named to UN Gaza inquiry team:   Hollywood star George Clooney's fiancee Amal Alamuddin is to join fellow human rights experts probing Israel's Gaza offensive, the United Nations said Monday. Read more
15:20  Gavaskar escapes unhurt in a car crash in London:  Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar was lucky to escape unhurt in a car crash while travelling from Manchester to London on Sunday after the completion of the third Test between India and England.

According to media reports, Gavaskar, who is part of the Sky Sports commentary team, was seated in a Jaguar with fellow-commentator Marc Nicholas and his close friend Chandresh Patel when he met with the accident.

It is learnt that the legendary opener was sitting on the left side of the rear while Nicholas was sitting beside the driver when a car coming from the opposite end collided with their Jaguar.

Gavaskar's driver, who had reportedly dozed off, was slow to react on a wet road and a late manoevre did avoid a head-on clash but the speeding vehicle slammed onto the other car.

It was Gavaskar, who had to shout to get the drowsy driver back in his senses as the others were also fast asleep.

Though the Jaguar was badly damaged, all the passengers left unscathed and the visibly shaken trio soon took a train from East Midland Park for London.

It was reported that Gavaskar, who had warned the driver of rash driving in soggy and skiddy conditions, was reading a newspaper when the accident happened while the other two passengers were comfortably sleeping.

"God has saved us. There was torrential rain and our car was being driven very fast. Thankfully, no one was hurt although the accident was very, very scary," Gavaskar was quoted in media reports.
15:18  Four men from Maharashtra on 'Allah's work' go missing in Iraq:  The government today said four youth from Maharashtra have disappeared after leaving for Mosul from Baghdad in Iraq. Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju informed Lok Sabha that four youth from the Kalyan area of Thane district in Maharashtra travelled to Iraq under the guise of a pilgrimage tour.

Rijiju said all of them, along with a group of pilgrims, left Mumbai international airport on their valid passports and out of the four, one Fahaad had left a letter for his parents that he was going for "Allah's work".

"These youth are reported to be native of the same locality in Thane, Maharashtra, and all of them are educated. They left Mumbai for Baghdad via Abu Dhabi. After reaching Baghdad, they all were with the travel group for the holy visit for first few days and then reportedly got separated from the group.

"It has been reported that they took a taxi for Mosul which is situated about 400 km away from Baghdad. Detailed enquiries are still being conducted by Maharashtra Police into the disappearance of these boys on their visit to Iraq," he said replying a written reply.

The Minister said no other incident has come to the notice of the government but it has been keeping watch on these development and will react appropriately. There have been media reports that the four youth have
joined insurgent group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which is fighting the Iraqi forces. 
14:53  After salt and water, Jaya blitzkriegs TN with Amma Babycare Kits:   The Tamil Nadu government today announced 'Amma' babycare kits to newborns across the state to extend caring hands to mothers delivering babies in state-run hospitals.

The government would spend over Rs 67 crore which would benefit over 6.7 lakh babies this year alone, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said, making a suo motu statement in the Assembly.

The kit worth Rs 1,000 would be gifted to the new born with 16 items which includes a towel, baby dress, baby bed, protection net, napkin, 100 ml baby oil bottle, 60 ml shampoo, sachet, a soap box, a soap, a nail clipper, toy, a rattle, a 250 ml handwash liquid and a 100 gram soap for mother, she said, amidst thumping of benches by legislators.

The announcement comes close on the heels of government launching 'Amma' seeds to provide farmers and general public with quality seeds at reasonable price, "Amma" Amudam Supermarkets, 'Amma Pharmacies' and subsidised 'Amma Salt' recently.

The 'Amma Canteens' and 'Amma Mineral Water', both low-cost initiatives, have been well received by a large section of the people. Jayalalithaa is popularly addressed as Amma (Mother) by her party workers and supporters.
14:18  Star shine in Parliament: Rekha makes sudden appearance:  Actress Rekha stirred up an otherwise blah day in Parliament with a sudden appearance. Rekha and Sachin Tendulkar have been criticised for poor attendance in Parliament. While Sachin has been granted leave from the Rajya Sabha, Rekha decided to show up today.

Wearing a beige tussar silk sari, dark glasses and sporting a Louis Vuitton handbag, the 59-year-old stunner sat through Question Hour in the first half of the Parliament Session.

Rekha last attended Parliament in February 2013. Hema Malini, a contemporary of Rekha, had not attended the first session of the newly elected Lok Sabha at all.
13:59  10 shuddh desi products we grew up with:  In the run-up to Independence Day, looks at some products that have stood the test of time and continue to tug at Indian hearts. Read
13:49  Modi in Kargil: We will take you with us towards development:  PM Narendra Modi shares a stage with Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah in Kargil, where Modi will inaugurate the 44-MW Chutak Power Project.

Modi says the government will focus on development and taking everyone together on the path of development. "It is our responsibility to connect the people of Kargil with the rest of India. About 20 per cent people of Jammu and Kashmir are displaced, we will take all possible steps for their rehabilitation. We will build a strong bond," the PM said. 
13:35  Rekha lights up Parliament :  Starshine in Parliament as Rekha makes an appearance in the Rajya Sabha. She last attended Parliament in February. 
13:27  Robin Williams death: online tributes:  Comedians and other celebrities have been mourning Williams, who has died at the age of 63.

Ellen DeGeneres: I can't believe the news about Robin Williams. He gave so much to so many people. I'm heartbroken.

Steve Martin: I could not be more stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul.

Danny DeVito: Sad to think about this. Hard to speak. Hard to say. Hard to take. All I can think about is what a joy he was to be with. I'm devastated. I'm sending my love to his family and everyone who loved him. My heart is broken by this news.

Ben Stiller: A tweet cannot begin to describe the hugeness of Robin Williams heart and soul and talent. This is so sad.

Minnie Driver: Heart's broken. Robin was a beautiful, kind soul. Can't bear that he's gone. So incredibly sorry for his family.
13:14 pays tribute to Robin Williams with heartwarming moments from his extraordinary life. Take a look
12:56  Sonia attacks Modi: 600 communal violence incidents in 11 weeks :  Congress president Sonia Gandhi launches what is easily her first attack against the Narendra Modi government since the 2014 polls. Speaking at a rally Thiruvananthapuram, Sonia said that there were 600 incidents of communal violence in the first 11 weeks of the Modi government, while there were hardly any incidents of communal violence during the UPA regime. 

Sonia, for now, seems to be leading from the front, after deciding to hold Rahul back and let the senior leaders continue to exercise their influence over the organisation. 
12:38  SRK: Criticism only because cop was a woman :  In other news: Reacting to criticism over dancing with a lady constable in Kolkata, superstar Shah Rukh Khan has denied the reports and said some people are raking it up not since a police personnel in uniform danced but because it was a woman who shook a leg with him.

The 48-year-old actor had last week lifted a lady constable wearing the Kolkata Police uniform during a dance performance at a function of the force in the presence of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, other ministers and state government officials.

Later, some politicians criticised the police woman for dancing in uniform alongside Shah Rukh at the event.

West Bengal Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had alleged that Banerjee had 'insulted' the Constitution by allowing a Kolkata police constable in uniform to dance with Khan at the function.

"It is strange, some years back when I was shooting for 'Veer Zaara', I had danced and had fun with the jawans who were in uniform... I had entertained them.

"In 60s-70s, actors and performers used to go on border and dance and perform for them (jawans) just to encourage as those were the times of war," Shah Rukh said last night.

"And in Mumbai also I have done it. I feel it is strange... I don't think it is about uniform, but just because it is a lady in uniform one should talk like this. So, it is a distinction being made between men and women which I think is completely rubbish and silly. I think it should not be talked about also," he said.

The actor was talking at the trailer launch of an upcoming film 'Ekkees Toppon Ki Salami'.
12:35  Parliament Session may be extended to enable passage of bills:  The current Session of Parliament may be extended to enable the passage of bills, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu told BJP MPs today.

Addressing the BJP Parliamentary Party meeting at the central hall of Parliament, he said the government is committed to pass important legislations in Parliament and would extend the current session, if Congress adopts "obstructionist" measures.

The government is keen to get important bills passed like the National Judicial Appointments Commission bill, the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, Apprentices (Amendment) Bill, Constitution (121st Amendment) Bill, Repealing and Amending Bill, Factories (Amendment) Bill, the the Insurance Bill, the Securities Laws (Amendment) Bill and the Labour Laws (Exemption from Furnishing Returns and Maintaining Registers by Certain Establishments) Amendment Bill.

Naidu charged the Congress with "running away" from passage of bills.
12:28  PM Modi reaches Kargil :  PM Modi reaches Kargil.

Earlier in Leh, Modi said the government would make jobs available for the youth, build educational institutions for the youth and modernize the design and production of Pashmina shawls and thereby empower the people of Kashmir and fulfil the dream of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
12:24  Juvenile Justice Bill tabled in Lok Sabha :  Just in: The Juvenile Justice Bill has been introduced in the Lok Sabha. The Cabinet had last week amended the act paving the way for empowering the Juvenile Justice Board to decide if minors between the ages of 16 and 18 should be tried as adults for heinous crimes like rape and murder.

The amendment will give the magistrate the power to decide if a juvenile involved in a heinous crime should be sent to a correction facility or tried by a regular court. But these suspects cannot be given the death sentence or life imprisonment.

The amendment was spearheaded by Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi.

12:21  PM on corruption:  PM on corruption: Corruption is troubling us. People are angry. I assure that we will fight corruption. There are also honest officers. We will work with them too. If we win the fight against corruption we will win battle against poverty.
11:51  PM to soldiers: I visit you to seek inspiration :  The PM addresses army personnel posted in Leh saying Indian forces suffer more casualties due to terrorism than war. He said he visits jawans at the border to seek inspiration from them. Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Leh to inaugurate two hydro-power projects.
11:47  Just in: Parliament session can be extended beyond 14th August: Rajiv Pratap Rudy
11:42  Even as the PM's statement comes in, eight BSF personnel, including an officer, were injured when militants attacked their convoy at Pampore in south Kashmir's Pulwama district, police said today.
11:37  Modi condemns continuing proxy war by Pakistan:  Condemning the continuing proxy war by Pakistan, PM Modi says that Pakistan has lost the strength to fight a conventional war but continues to engage in a proxy war of terrorism.
11:35  Ladhakh elected a BJP candidate for the first time in the general elections this year and the party hopes that it will win at least half of the four assembly seats in this region in state elections to be held later this year.
11:29  Raghuram Rajan explains his 'Global Crash' warning:  Worried about Raghuram Rajan's warning on global fiscal crisis? Here's what the RBI governor actually meant. Read
11:22  AIADMK's M Thambidurai to be deputy speaker in Lok Sabha?:  AIADMK's M Thambidurai has filed nomination for the post of the deputy speaker of Lok Sabha.

Election for the post of Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker will take place tomorrow. As per a notification issued by the Lok Sabha today, notices of motions for the election of Deputy Speaker can be given before noon on Tuesday.

Thambidurai is the likely choice of NDA for the post. The move to give the post to AIADMK is seen as a gesture towards Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalitha and also a bid to split the opposition ranks, according to media reports.

Thambidurai is the leader of AIADMK in the House. He was deputy speaker from 1985 to 1989.
Election for the post of Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker will take place on Wednesday

11:00  We need to bring a saffron revolution: PM in Leh:  "We need to bring a saffron revolution and that is giving impetus to Kesar. Special attention should be placed to farmers. We will modernise the design and production of Pashmina shawls," says PM Modi while addressing a rally in Leh.

"Corruption is troubling us. People are angry. I assure that we will fight corruption and work with all those against corruption," he adds. 

10:56  I am committed to three Ps -- prakash, paryaavaran, paryatan: PM:   "We have put Leh at the focus of our solar energy initiatives. As the CM (Omar Abdullah) said Leh-Ladakh has enormous potential for solar energy just like Gujarat," says PM Modi.

"We are going to fulfil the dream of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The government wants tourism in Jammu and Kashmir to thrive. I am committed to three Ps -- prakash, paryaavaran, paryatan."

"The patriotism of the people here is an example for the rest of the country. I salute you," he says.
10:46  Time has come when a PM visits J&K twice a month: Modi :  Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates the Nimo-based hydroelectricity project and the Leh-Srinagar transmission in Leh.

Addressing a rally in the town, Modi said, "I am aware of the problems faced by the people here, but I am also aware of its strength."

"There was a time when for 10 years no PM would visit Kashmir. But now a time has come when a PM visits the state twice a month. The love of the people here draws me to Kashmir."

Image: Modi inaugurates hydro-electricity project and Leh-Kashmir transmission line.          
10:37  Prime Minister Narendra Modi shares stage with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah at the stone laying ceremony of a hydro-power project Leh.

I welcome the PM to Leh on behalf of myself and all of you, tweeted CM @abdullah_omar in Leh.
10:26  No compromise on Siachen, says PM on his second Kashmir visit:   Prime Minister Modi addresses army troops in Leh. He assures jawans that a national war memorial will be built. Lauding the Indian Army for their sacrifice for the nation he says, "Ladakh is important to us. There will be no compromise on Siachen."Siachen is the world's highest battlefield.

Both India and Pakistan claim sovereignty over the entire Siachen region.    
09:18  MIssion Kashmir: Modi's second visit aheaf of polls :   Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reached Leh. This is the first visit by any PM to the Ladakh region since the 1999 Kargil war.

Apart from inaugurating two hydro projects and laying the foundation stone for the Leh-Sringar transmission line, the PM will address army personnel to boost their morale.   
09:04  Modi to inaugurate 2 power projects, lay foundation stone for Leh-Srinagar transmission line:  In his second visit to Jammu and Kashmir after assuming office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Leh and Kargil today. Coming ahead of the assembly-elections, the trip will involve a major boost for the power sector in the energy-starved state. 

Modi is visiting Ladakh to inaugurate two power projects and also lay the foundation stone of the Leh-Srinagar transmission line.

The transmission line - a project announced by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in August 2003 - will connect Ladakh with the country's northern grid and go a long way towards solving the power woes of Leh.
08:36  Robin Williams: A man with a giant heart :  Actor Robin Williams also won people's hearts not only through his performances on screen, but also through his charity work.

The 63-year-old, who died on Monday of an apparent suicide, was known for his charity work at organisations such as Comic Relief, the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, the LiveStrong Foundation, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and more.

"There were so many ways and so many things he did for so many people," DreamWorks Animation Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg told the Times in an interview. "He really had just a giant heart and that's what makes me so sad."

Read the full report here
08:27  7 jawans injured in attack on BSF convoy in Kashmir:  Mukhtar Ahmad reports from Srinagar:  Seven paramilitary Border Security Force jawans including an officer were injured in a militant ambush in south Kashmir's Pampore town late last evening.

A senior BSF officer said militants opened fire at a passing vehicle carrying troopers returning from Pahalgam after performing yatra duty. "Seven BSF troopers including an assistant commandant were injured in the attack,' the officer said.

The attack come hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit Jammu and Kashmir. He is scheduled to visit Ladakh to inaugurate two power projects and lay the foundation stone of the Leh-Srinagar transmission line.  
03:57  Clinton critical of Obama foreign policy:  Hillary Clinton, the front-runner among potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidates, is sharply distancing herself from President Obama's foreign policy, particularly in Syria, as Americans appear to continue losing confidence in his handling of key international affairs.

Clinton, who as secretary of state was Obama's top diplomat, suggested during an in-depth interview with The Atlantic magazine that the president's foreign-policy mantra of "don't do stupid stuff' lacked sufficient depth.
03:55  Amal Alamuddin turns down Gaza investigation role:  Amal Alamuddin, the British human rights lawyer engaged to Hollywood actor George Clooney, was asked to investigate war crimes in Gaza for the UN, but rejected the role saying she was too busy.

The 36-year-old Oxford graduate, who has spent recent months in the full glare of the tabloids, was named as one of three experts to examine possible violations of international law in the Gaza Strip since June this year.
03:55  Obama hails Iraqs new government:  President Barack Obama offered his assistance to the new government emerging in Iraq Monday, sending a clear message to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as he tries to cling to power:

In brief remarks from outside his vacation home in Martha's Vineyard, Obama endorsed Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadias U.S. airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) entered their fourth day.

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02:09  Australia's Abbott: Ukraine crash was murder :  Australia's prime minister, Tony Abbott, has said the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine was mass murder. On a visit to the Netherlands to discuss the disaster with Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte, Abbott laid a wreath at the military barracks where victims' remains are being identified. 

"Let's be absolutely crystal clear about what happened," he said after meeting Rutte in The Hague.
02:08  American with suspected jihadist allegiance arrested in NY:  An American who tweeted his allegiance to the leader of Islamic State jihadists was arrested at New York's JFK airport last week, officials said today. Donald Ray Morgan was taken into custody on August 2 upon his arrival from Frankfurt, according to documents filed in a federal court in Brooklyn.
01:08  Girls' have the right to wear jeans, use mobiles: Khap chief :  To use mobile phones and wear jeans is the fundamental right of a girl and no panchayat should put a ban on it, chief of a Khap panchayat in Haryana has said. Kandela Khap Panchayat chief Tekaram Kandela said to use mobile phones and wear jeans is the fundamental right of a girl and his panchayat does not encourage a ban on it.
01:07  Ship rescues 3 sailors stranded off Hawaii coast:  A container ship crew has rescued three people from a sailboat that was stranded in waters roiled by Hurricane Julio off the Hawaii Coast. Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer Gene Maestas says the sailors were pulled aboard the container ship at about 8 am today. He says all three are safe and in good condition.
01:07  New C Africa PM vows reconciliation despite rebel snub:  The new prime minister of the Central African Republic today vowed to reconcile a nation torn apart by ethnic and religious violence even as rebels refused to take part in his government. Mahamat Kamoun, who was named the country's first Muslim premier yesterday, said his first priority was forming an "inclusive" government, then restoring security and tackling a devastating humanitarian crisis.
00:20  US sending arms to Kurds in Iraq:  The Obama administration has begun directly providing weapons to Kurdish forces who have started to make gains against Islamic militants in northern Iraq, senior US officials said Monday, but the aid has so far been limited to automatic rifles and ammunition.

Previously, the U.S. sold arms in Iraq only to the government in Baghdad, some of which would be transferred to the Kurdish forces in the north. The Kurdish peshmerga fighters had been losing ground to Islamic State militants in recent weeks, however.
00:14  Political showdown in Iraq as Maliki refuses to go:  Iraq's president named a new prime minister to end Nuri al-Maliki's eight year rule today, but the veteran leader refused to go after deploying militias and special forces on the streets, creating a dangerous political showdown in Baghdad.

Washington, which helped install Mr Maliki following its 2003 invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, congratulated Haidar al-Abadi, a former Maliki lieutenant who was named by president Fouad Masoum to replace him.
00:13  Jet to stop low-cost services, to merge them with parent:  Jet Airways, which reported Rs 217 crore net loss in the June quarter, today said it will be exiting low-cost services and will merge its two no-frills brands with parent full service carrier. 

"By the end of this year, there will be no JetLite and Jet Konnect brands and all the aircraft will have business class and economy class seats," group chairman Naresh Goyal told reporters after the company's AGM here today.
00:13  Saharanpur District Magistrate transferred:  District Magistrate of  Saharanpur, which recently witnessed communal clashes claiming three lives, was tonight transferred in a major reshuffle of Uttar Pradesh bureaucracy. 

Joint Magistrates of Moradabad and Meerut, which too were hit by communal tension recently, were also shifted, a Home department official said.
00:10  Top headlines in that last 24 hours:  'We can have dialogue on Kashmir under ambit of insaniyat'
Cong criticises Bhagwat over 'Hindus' comments
Italian PM calls Modi for 'rapid, positive solution' on marines
Smriti Irani got a certificate for leadership programme: Yale University
Israel, Palestine talk amid tottering truce in Gaza
Bill to scrap collegium system introduced in Lok Sabha
Justice Katju stings judiciary again, targets ex-CJI Balakrishnan
Will the Modi sarkar bring hope for Colonel Purohit?
Modi sarkar prepares bill to repeal 36 obsolete laws
Sachin under attack in RS for absence, granted leave
Vote! Who deserves the Bharat Ratna?
'Sonia is a better politician than Rajiv'
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